Saturday, July 9, 2011

Special Books For Special Kids

I stumbled across a post that answered a question for an aspiring teacher, who was asking for recommendations for books about gifted children.

I loved the information in it:

Q:  I am looking for books that contain gifted characters. I am aspiring to be an elementary school teacher and have been unable to locate any children books that deal with gifted characters. There are many childrens books that deal with special needs or children with disabilities, but I can't seem to find any that deal with the opposite. Children like to hear about characters they can relate to. so if you know of any short children books that have gifted characters in them please let me know.
By children's book, I mean a short 20-30 page book with pictures, Not a novel.
A:  It is good for children to be able to relate to the characters in the books they read. This is as true for gifted children as it is for any other children. here are some books that have characters and themes that gifted children can relate to. They range from books for early readers to young adults.

The answer follows up with a list of excellent titles that cover a range of ages, some of which we've read in our own house, some of which we may be getting because they sound fascinating.

But it also got me thinking:  what books have folks read, either to classrooms or to their own children and grandchildren about various issues that hit a particular issue "sweet spot"?

For example, when The Peanut was younger, we must have read "Leo The Late Bloomer" a bazillion times to her, because she loved the gorgeously colored pictures and its message was wonderful -- that we all have our own gifts that bloom in our own time. 

The same for all the Pooh Bear stories, which deal with all the individual faults and strengths of Pooh and his pals.  (Personally, I've always identified with Piglet's rampant self-doubt, myself.  Don't we all have an inner Pooh Bear character in there somewhere?)

I know there have to be more that folks have read and found applicable for particular instances in their own lives, or the lives of children we've known through the years. 

As I approach the coming school year, I've begun to think about assignments and what sorts of reading I want to guide students toward and issues I want to tackle through books in the library, so this is something I've been thinking about a lot over the last few weeks.  At the elementary school level, there are so many important things to learn including compassion for others, thoughtfulness, manners, self-respect...the list is endless, isn't it?

If you were thinking about a special kid who needed just the right book for their particular issue, what would you recommend and why?  Do tell...


Anonymous said...

Hi Christy,
Found a link at an FDL post. Didn't know you were back in the blogging business. Good to see more of your great photos.

For older children, I recall reading mysteries as a child:
Danny Dunn (inventor) series,

Alfred Hitchcock and the 3 Investigator series (the originals, with Hitchcock as a character): Jupiter was the brains of the investigators;

and Encyclopedia Brown series (not sure if they count as great literature, but the characters were smart).


Christy Hardin Smith said...

I LOVED the Encyclopedia Brown books as a kid, too. And, luckily, the school library already has a decent collection going of them, so I'm definitely going to do a mystery month along with the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and several other series as well.

Great to see you!